Teachers should not be allowed to carry firearms

Leah Barnes, Copy Editor

Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Stoneman Douglas High School and now Robb Elementary School have one thing in common. Each school added a new link to the chain of mass school shootings that continues to choke the nation.

As school shootings continue to be reported across America at an alarming rate, some are beginning to wonder whether teachers should be carrying guns in their classrooms. In reality, that solution will just escalate the problem rather than dissipating it.

Bringing more weapons capable of violence into schools is not the solution. According to bbc.com, police officers train for an average of 21 weeks before they work. Even then, what they learn in training is used daily as a part of their job. It is completely irrational to give teachers the responsibility of gun ownership – even with training – because they do not experience the same conditions as police do on a day-to-day basis.

If a shooter came into a classroom, situations are so unpredictable that there is no telling whether a teacher would have time to get their weapon, if they would be able to aim accurately, or if they would even be able to pull a trigger. They should not be given a weapon intended to kill.

Bringing more weapons in won’t solve the issue of them being there in the first place. It can only make for a more dangerous situation.

— Elena Fisk

Fighting violence with violence will just cause more harm.

“Adding more guns to the problem only puts them at a higher access to students,” said senior Audrey Falk. It increases the possibility that students pick up weapons, potentially endangering the lives of their classmates.

There are many initiatives that could be taken that would solve the problem without bringing more firearms into the picture. This might look like keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them in the first place.

It could also include making students feel welcome at school.

“Teachers and counselors [should make] more of an effort to make sure that kids feel safe and like they have a place in this world,” Fisk said. If schools promote environments where all students feel welcome, then they might have less motivation to consider bringing a gun to school.

Additionally, there should be a higher incentive for students to report their classmates online for posting threats or suspicious posts. Many times, school shooters hint at or outright state their intentions prior to inflicting harm.

Teachers should not have to shoulder the burden of having a firearm in their classrooms. It adds a level of unease to schools and brings additional danger into schools.

It is time for the list of schools that have encountered mass shootings to end, but that list will not stop with bringing the problem closer into the belly of the beast.